Attracting Young Buyers to an Older Home

Attracting Young Buyers to an Older Home

Who are today’s fist-time home buyers and what are they looking for? These are important questions for homeowners interested in trading up or selling a home.

Many first-time buyers are seeking to make a move from a rental property, while others are moving from living with a relative or friend. When asked for the reasons they decided to enter the housing market, the number one reason cited was the desire to own, as well as the improved affordability in the housing market.

These buyers now make up 40 percent of the home-buying market, with demographics including a median age of 31 with an income of about $62,000.

So, what exactly are these buyers looking for? Experts agree that these buyers are similar to most buyers-they are primarily looking for a good value, a good location and living space in which to feel comfortable and put down roots.

How can sellers provide reassurance of a good value? A home inspection is always a good first step when selling or buying a home. The inspector will conduct a review of major systems in the home, including electrical, heating/ventilation, plumbing, roofing and the structural integrity of the home, and provide a report on the condition of the property. It will help the seller determine what might need to be done before putting a home on the market, or how to adjust the listing price to take needed repairs into consideration. The inspection report can be a part of the marketing materials provided to the buyer. Other information to include in marketing materials: location of nearby schools, parks, pools, walking paths, shopping, restaurants, transportation and any other features that might be important to young adult buyers.

Depending on the age and condition of the home, offering a home warranty with the sale of the home may be well worth the investment. The price for twelve months worth of coverage ranges from about $250 to $450 for an average size home.

Home inspection ReportIn general, home warranties provide coverage not offered by homeowners insurance policies and will cover air condition, furnace and heating systems, duct work, water heaters, indoor plumbing stoppages, the electrical system, telephone wiring, ceiling fans, doorbells, dishwasher, and oven.

What’s not covered? Again, coverage varies, but home warranties often exclude outdoor sprinkler systems, pools, spas, and jetted or whirlpool bathtubs, unless you want to pay more for additional coverage.

When it comes to highlighting the look of the home, it’s always smart to remove heavy drapes and allow as much natural light as possible to brighten the interior. Windows should be spotlessly clean and to enhance the effect, the brightest light bulbs possible should be added to light fixtures can also help contemporizes the look of the home.

The general advice of decluttering the home especially applies to a new home buyers. The plan is to allow the buyers to picture themselves in the home, and that process is made easier when there are fewer visual elements to distract them. Appealing to their preferences in room color might assist as well. White rooms come off as sterile, unfriendly and out-dated to younger buyers. Neutral colors today mean soft earth tone colors, off-white, beige or pale grey. These colors can be offset by contrasting trim colors.

If it is possible to update the kitchen with light or white cabinets, it might be worth the money. First-time home buyers do not want to picture themselves in a dark kitchen, and the prospect of a big do-it-yourself project right off the bat may be too daunting for some. A relatively quick fix can be accomplished by using paint to brighten up the heavy, dark color of some wood cabinets. To go along with the new or freshly-painted cabinets, a new stone countertop in clack or other dark color can help modernize the kitchen. If appliances are truly out-dated, stainless steel appliances can a selling point.

If wood floors in reasonable condition lurk underneath outdated or stained carpeting, pulling up the carpeting is not a difficult task. Even if there are no wood floors waiting to be freed, worn carpeting should be replaced.

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